How Do Cooling Towers Work?

Dec 05, 2017

What Does A Cooling Tower Do?

Cooling towers are designed to take heat from one area and reject it to another. The cooling process that takes place within the towers is based on the principle of thermodynamics where heat will flow from hot to cold.

Cooling towers are designed to increase the surface area of this heat transfer process and therefore increasing the efficiency of the rejection of heat from the system through evaporation. In essence, the function of a cooling tower is to efficiently cool water down and reject heat through evaporation, thus allowing the cool water to be recycled back into the system.


How Does A Cooling Tower Work?

Cooling towers operate through a heat transfer process that efficiently cools the already cycled water to be reused. The hot water from the chiller will enter near the top of the cooling tower and be sprayed across the wide surface area of the heat transfer surface, called the fill. Beneath the fill, cool air is entered in and promptly suctioned through the fill towards the top of the tower via a fan.

The fill acts as the transfer surface, as heat from the hot water droplets is transferred to the cool air rising through the fill. The hot air is then rejected out of the system through the fan, and then the cooled water falls down to the sump, where it will be recycled back through the system and into the heat exchange process below.


Why Do I Need Water Treatment?

Chemical water treatment for cooling towers is essential in order to keep cooling towers operating at high efficiency and also to prevent risk of damage. Water that is used in the cooling tower typically has high concentrations of dissolved solids, which if not treated properly, could form calcium carbonate (scale).

Scale greatly reduces the ability of the fill to transfer the heat from the water to the air, which can dramatically reduce operating efficiency. Other problems that often occur in cooling tower systems are corrosion, airborne contaminants, and microbiological growth. Bacteria are especially prone to grow in cooling towers, due to the warm and wet environment of the tower system.

With serious problems caused by bacteria, such as Legionella, having a state-of-the-art chemical treatment program has never been more important.

To learn more about how Chardon can help protect your cooling tower, contact us today!